Thursday, May 21, 2009


Governor Signs Wisconsin Children's CI Insurance Bill

Press release, Office of Governor Jim Doyle, Madison, Wisconsin - May 21,

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Carla Vigue, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Governor Doyle Signs Bill Requiring Insurers Cover Cochlear Implants,
Hearing Aids for Kids

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle today signed SB 27, requiring health
insurers cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for persons under 18 years
of age.

"This is an important bill that protects Wisconsin families," Governor
Doyle said. "For too long, too many families with deaf children or children
with hearing loss have struggled to pay for treatment. Today, we are making
sure these families no longer have to choose between putting food on the
table or providing effective and proven treatment for their child."

The bill requires health insurance policies and plans to cover the
cost of hearing aids or cochlear implants and related treatment for children
under 18. Coverage is limited to two hearing aids every three years and the
child must be diagnosed by a physician or audiologist as being deaf or
hearing impaired.

Research shows that early intervention can save families $5,000 to
$10,000 per child per year, or $1 million during a lifetime. Access to
hearing aids or cochlear implants results in earlier development of speech
and language skills, as well as decreased need for special education.

About 200 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing in Wisconsin each
year, and more than half of Wisconsin families do not have insurance that
covers any of the cost of hearing aids, according to a survey by the
Wisconsin Chapter of Hands.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Lassa and Hansen and Representatives
Cullen and Bernard Schaber for their work on the bill.

*Thank you to all of the families who wrote to the governor in support of this bill*


Karen Mayes said...

That is great to hear! :o)

Meanwhile here in Indiana, hearing aid bill is passed, but after some rewording :/ . Won't know until legislators meet on June 15th to see if the requested $6 millions would be included in the bill for the hearing aid study... fiscal budget has not been approved yet here in Indiana, ugh!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news! The actions of hearing impaired militants are abhorrent.

Susannah said...


Anonymous said...

Why is that I cringe every time I see reference to "research" which shows how much money can be saved or how much less special education will be needed whenever there is talk about hearing aids or cochlear implants and deaf or hard of hearing children? Is it because I have a child who is deaf that I am sensitive to statements that seem to infer that my child -- or any child -- that does not have/use/benefit from hearing aids or have a cochlear implant is a burden on society or might cost more to raise than other children? Why do these statements always hit me the wrong way?

Mother of Bilingual Deaf and Hearing Children

Anonymous said...

F-A-N-S-T-A*burp*istic! There's more coming up.....more states will follow Wisconsin's footstep.

I represent neither AFA nor DBC since DBC is endorsing AFA to stop CIs. Really it's a boo-hoo.

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

DAMN YOU ALL to HELL! fix fix fix fix a child's ear...wait and watch them suffering.

Unknown said...

To Mother of Bilingual Deaf and Hearing Children,
As the mother of a child with a cochlear implant, the statements really bother me as well. My son still needs assistance in the classroom so that he can achieve within the educational atmosphere- Let them talk about saving money, each individual parent is behind the child ready to fight for his needs.
Your child is a person, an individual who has a right to an education based on her needs.
We are no burden...let them shovel the bs in terms of financial issues and special needs this and that and let it roll off the shoulder. That's what I do when I start to feel slightly guilty for being a potential burden.
CI or no CI our children have needs. We do the best we can and smile while doing so, because we know how fortunate we are.
Hedy- I'm sorry you feel that way.
To the rest of the commenters...*smile* I am so happy for the parents in Wisconsin...and their children.

Deaf Adult who struggles to pay for aids said...

I have two major problems with this bill that should have been included...

1.) this should be for all ages, not just children. People from all age groups have problems paying for hearing aids, if they suffer from hearing loss.

2.) Parents should get a visit from a deaf advocate if they are in the mist of deciding to get a ci for their child if the child is under 24 months. They need to be aware of the struggles their child wil go through, as well as the fact that their kid being deaf is not the end of the world.